“Grumpy in Belgrade” brings together the blogs, essays, and increasingly obscure thoughts of one American in Belgrade, struggling to make sense of the nonsensical. And making nonsense of the rest.
For many years, I have been looking for an adequate explanation for traffic in the White City. I have wondered why it was ok to come to a stop at a red light and then step out of your car and go get a coffee.
The question of right-of-way was fairly easy to figure out - everyone has it. At the same time. Especially at a four-way intersection with six ancillary roads leading into it. Why waste time trying to figure out who has priority when the answer is obviously me? And when you need to transfer (quite suddenly) from the far left lane to the far right, you just do it. Everyone will always get out of the way.
And they will greet you with friendly honking as you go.
He began to speak to other cavemen about his discovery. He began to extol the virtues of making as many cavelings as possible with as many cave women as could be found. And he also began to warn everyone against lying with their fellow cavemen. He told them it was Wrong. He told them it was Unnatural. He said it would affect their ability to hunt mammoths and make fire.
The effect is meant to demonstrate the machine's power by generating enough noise to drown out any other urban man-made sound within 10 kilometers of the blower.
The ongoing crisis in Serbia, the devastating effects of flooding on countless homes, buildings, people, and animals over a very large part of the country, seems to have brought the humanitarians out in droves. More than 3,000 able-bodied men and women marched on Sabac to shore up the floodwalls. Humanitarian aid to the victims of the floods poured in from around the country and from abroad. People have donated their time, their money, their clothes, their food, and their Facebook pages to the humanitarian effort.
The hipster has become ubiquitous. They sport my old clothes. They wear my old glasses. They listen to music which either predates me or hasn't yet been invented. In fact, every time that I sorted through my old things and gave them away, I was helping to forge the Hipster.
And it is all out of our control. Earthquakes quake. Weather squalls. Clouds cumulate. What can anyone do to combat this? Human fallibility on the other hand creates a whole new set of wrong-angle situations - trains derail, airplanes get lost over Malaysia, fanatics get elected to positions of power, armies roll in, and someone wears a red shirt with yellow striped pants.
True story. I have seen that guy.